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Horizon Pharma Net Rises 62%, Sales Double, Guidance Lifted

Top-rated specialty drugmaker Horizon Pharma beat first-quarter sales estimates and settled a patent suit, but its stock fell 6% to 27.62 on Friday. Horizon's (HZNP) earnings excluding one-time items rose 62% vs. a year earlier to 21 cents a share, in line with analyst consensus, according to Thomson Reuters. Sales leapt 118% to $113.1 million, about $9 million above views. Horizon also boosted its guidance to reflect the just-closed $1.1 billion buyout of rare-disease specialist Hyperion Therapeutics (HPTX). It sees full-year sales of $590 million to $610 million, well above analysts' $539 million. It did not offer EPS guidance, but said EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) will be $257 million to $272 million, or $235 million to $250 million net of royalties. Both ranges beat the $205 million consensus. The Hyperion buyout was quite popular with investors — Horizon's stock jumped 18% the day it was announced — as the company looks for a supplement to best-seller Vimovo, whose revenue shrank 3% in the quarter. On Friday's call with analysts, business-operations chief Robert Metz said Horizon still has $500 million it could spend on ac quisitions. "We've got sufficient capacity to execute on our plan right now and hope to continue to be active in the marketplace." UBS analyst Marc Goodman wrote in a note Friday that the Q1 bottom line missed his target. "It looks like management is guiding to higher (spending) than what we thought," he wrote. "But we think the focus of the story is the top line, and given (prescription) trends we believe the top line is heading in the right direction." Guggenheim analyst Louise Chen raised her price target to 40 from 35 based on the new guidance. "HZNP is committed to doing more deals and has the infrastructure to close several deals per year, in our view," she said in her note. Horizon also settled a patent suit with generic-drug maker Perrigo (PRGO) on its arthritis ointment Pennsaid 2%. Perrigo will be able to start selling generic Pennsaid on Jan. 10, 2029, "or earlier under certain circumstances."